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WATCH: President Donald Trump Meets With Secretary of Defense James Mad Dog Mattis At The Pentagon

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WATCH President Donald Trump Meets With Secretary of Defense James Mad Dog Mattis At The Pentagon

President Donald Trump Meets With Secretary of Defense James "Mad Dog" Mattis At The Pentagon/2019

Meets With Secretary of Defense James President Donald Trump Meets With Secretary of Defense James Mad Dog Mattis At The Pentagon
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Watch: President Donald Trump Meets With Secretary of Defense James "MAD DOG" Matti's At The Pentago

WATCH: President Donald Trump Meets With_144P

Gillibrand opposing waiver to make Mattis Secretary of Defense

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) on Thursday said she plans to vote against the waiver required for retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to serve as Donald Trump’s defense secretary.

Gillibrand’s early opposition to the waiver came less than an hour after Trump announced he would tap Mattis for the Pentagon. The popular commander, nicknamed Mad Dog, is still expected to become the first defense secretary nominee in more than 60 years to win the congressional waiver that's necessary to install him as the military's civilian leader given his recent service in uniform.

“While I deeply respect General Mattis’s service, I will oppose a waiver, Gillibrand said in a statement. Civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy, and I will not vote for an exception to this rule.”

The law requiring a waiver for defense secretaries who have recently served in uniform dates to 1947, and Congress indicated that it did not expect exceptions to the rule after allowing retired Army Gen. George Marshall to lead the Pentagon under President Harry Truman in 1950. Because the waiver is legislative, it could ultimately prove subject to a 60-vote threshold for Senate approval — meaning that the GOP would have to secure at least eight Democratic votes in the upper chamber.

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